Red Cross Real Hero – Andrew Weatherbee 

Thursday November 8th, 2012 six people were honored by the Pine Tree Chapter of the American Red Cross for their heroic actions and coming to the aid of those in need.We continue to profile those award winners, including Ellsworth Police Officer Andrew “Drew” Weatherbee who climbed into a burning car to pull the driver to safety.~~~~30 year old Ellsworth Police Officer Drew Weatherbee was wrapping up a rather routine overnight shift, October 9th, 2011.He was doing paperwork and nearly ready to call it a day. “We got a phone call from the State Police Barracks because they called 9-1-1, there’s a vehicle roll over and it caught on fire and there was a gentleman trapped inside.”So Weatherbee hopped in his cruiser and headed to the Bayside Road.The accident was near the Trenton/Ellsworth town line but because it was so early he didn’t have to deal with much traffic to get to the scene. “I see a vehicle on the drivers side door, so I see the roof of the vehicle, and people were standing around it. Nobody had a fire extinguisher, the vehicle was on fire, I see smoke, flames I just reacted and went up to the vehicle.”There even was a small explosion in the car as Weatherbee arrived, and in just 13 seconds after getting on the scene and making his way to the burning car, he had a plan. “I broke the rear window, right over the trunk”And it took just 12 seconds for him to smash in the window.”There was smoke inside the cab and there was flames in the engine compartment. I had to climb over an outboard boat motor, there was all kinds of junk inside of the back seat of the vehicle which is where I entered through was the back seat, I grabbed him, pulled him out past his seat and pulled him out through the window.”It takes longer for Weatherbee to describe the inside of the car than the seven seconds it took for him to pull the man to safety.Weatherbee has gotten awards through the Police Association, The Maine Chiefs of Police and others, but he’s very reluctant to talk about it and he deflects the praise, humbly. “Just because it was my shift, any one of our guys would have done it, it was on my shift so it was me.”It all happened so quickly Weatherbee said he didn’t have time to do anything but let his training take over. “At the time, you don’t think of danger, you just think of, you know that’s what we get into the profession for is to save a life and when you actually get a chance to do it, you just do it.”